I agree that it's great that Shane takes an interest in what his fans say. An observation of mine is that all the really good designers take an active interest in their fans (people like Shane, Monte Cook and Sean Renyolds) while the often faceless corporations produce work that is not as widely acclaimed.
Maybe it's because truely great game designers love their work.... _________________ Life: Past trends are not an indication of future performance
In fairness, a lot of the folks at the larger companies just *can't* directly correspond with their fans, whether due to company policy or the size of their audience.
I'm lucky though because the folks who buy my products tend to be like-minded souls, and 99% are great guys and gals I'd game with in a heartbeat and really enjoy getting to know. I've worked for other companies before PEG and can *definitely* say this is not the case for everyone. There's a really nasty set of customers for a certain very popular game that take great pleasure in browbeating designers over the *tiniest* and most insignificant modifiers (not even rules--just whether something should be a +1 or a +2). Trust me, I've seen it. I watched a very good friend of mine get berated for well over an hour at GenCon by one of these folks. (And yes, I laughed at him every time I walked by. Heh heh heh)
So really, I *hope* I'm worthy of your compliments, but it really is the nature of you guys and gals that nurtures it. That's why I *hate* to see flame wars pop up. Fortunately, those are VERY rare around here.
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